ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Signs that Your Pet Rabbit May Be Sick!

Updated on January 27, 2014

Just as kittens need the proper kitten care in order thrive and be happy a rabbit needs proper care as well. Just like dogs and cats, rabbits are companion animals that rely on their owners for food, shelter and of course, medical care. Rabbits are animals too and just like dogs and cats can contract diseases, get infections or become injured. When you get a pet rabbit one of the first things you should do is find a veterinarian that accepts rabbits as patients (because rabbits can live up to twelve years old you may also want to look into pet rabbit health insurance…yes, it does exist!). Though not as demanding or popular as dogs and cats, rabbits are pets too and should not be viewed as "disposable." They actually thrive when properly cared for and enjoy being members of the family!

Rabbit Reference Books!

Rabbits For Dummies
Rabbits For Dummies

It is always a good idea to have a "rabbit care" book on hand at home. I reference mine all the time! It is VERY helpful!


Emergency Rabbit Situations

If you notice that your pet rabbit is not feeling very hoppy (sorry, I couldn't resist), it is very important that you are pro-active and immediately try to determine what the problem may be. Just like any other animal, rabbits can require emergency medical care…if the situation warrants it. The first thing you should do if you notice that your rabbit is ill is to STAY CALM! Getting upset won't help the situation and by no means will it make your bunny better. Below are some signs that your rabbit is most likely ill and should see a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Excessive Salivation

So your bunny is foaming at the mouth…what in the world is going on? Well, dental disease is the number one reason rabbits salivate excessively. In fact, excessive salivations means that…in simple terms…your rabbit has a tooth ache, is in pain, and needs medical attention as soon as possible.  Other signs that your bunny needs to see the dentist include eating difficulty (which will cause your rabbit to lose weight quickly), and constant wet fur around the mouth and neck area. Poisoning will also cause excessive salivation (if you can rule poisoning out, then your rabbit most likely has dental disease).

My Bunny has the Runs!

If your pet rabbit's stool is profuse, watery, or bloody, make an appointment with the veterinarian as soon as possible as diarrhea can be very serious. Your bunny has something called "flora" in his gastrointestinal tract and when it is disrupted (usually by disease) diarrhea usually sets in. If you do not treat your pet rabbit's diarrhea, he can become dehydrated and possibly go into shock so again, it is very important that you take your bunny to the veterinarian. By the way, for those of you who are interested in the exact definition of flora, here it is: the aggregate of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms normally occurring on or in the bodies of humans and other animals: intestinal flora. Isn't learning fun!?

Blood in Bunny's Urine

When blood is visible in a human, dog or cat's urine, it is a sign of disease. Well, the rabbit is no exception! Possible reasons that your bunny's urine has blood in it may be bladder stones, uterine disease (females), bladder cancer and even trauma.  If the blood in your rabbit's urine is accompanied by straining during urination, frequent urination, weakness and or lethargy (bunny depression) then you must take your rabbit and a sample of his urine to the veterinarian for diagnosis.

My Bunny is HOT!

Dogs, cats and yes, even rabbits are susceptible to heat stroke. It is a fact that rabbits tolerate the cold weather better than they do hot weather. One hot and humid day is all it takes for your bunny to go into heat distress. Signs of rabbit heat stroke include labored breathing, lethargy, and obviously, an elevated body temperature. If you believe that your rabbit has heat stroke then you should take him or her to the vet as soon as possible. Obviously, it is very important that you get your rabbit out of the heat as quickly as you can and wrap the ears in a cool, wet, towel (this will help to lower your bunny's temperature as you drive to the vet…hopefully, a friend of family member can drive with you and lend a paw).  Heat stroke is a SERIOUS situation and should be treated immediately.


Whether you have a kitten, cat, dog or rabbit…all require the proper care in order to be happy and healthy. It is a fact that pet rabbits are becoming quite popular (they are number four…right behind cats, dogs and birds). If you are planning on adding a rabbit to your family it is very important that you do your bunny homework as many rabbits become victims of neglect because their owners truly didn't know how to care for them. Don't be a bunny neglecter; learn all there is to know about pet rabbits BEFORE bringing one into your home. ALL PETS deserve to be happy and healthy in their forever, loving homes!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      3 years ago

      My bunny is not walking around to much and i think something is really wrong. He is not eating or drinking and He is normally hopping around and greeting me. Do you think he could have a heart attack?

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      My rabbit was acting fine this morning but, after a while I relized she has been sitting in the corner for several hours. She is eating and drinking, but I have to bring her it. Can you please

    • belleart profile image


      4 years ago from Ireland

      jill, your buns seem fine, rabbit urine can be very thick and varies in colour depending on a few things. other signs of sickness usually happen in their behaviour more than anything, from what I've seen anyway.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I just got three bunnies on monday and one of the males urine looks orange. Im extremely worried about my female I was told she has been breeding but no babies she urined on me and it was red like blood is she sick?? Im worried about my (cotton)

    • Cygstarz profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Maryland

      No. There should be no white stuff coming out of your rabbit's eyes. Let me do some research as to what the problem may be. In the meantime, you may want to contact a vet if your rabbit is "acting" different. Is he or she lethargic? Not eating? Not drinking? If you answered yes to any of these...there is a problem.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Is it normal for a rabbit to have white goop coming from one of his eyes ??

    • sparkleyfinger profile image

      Lynsey Hart 

      6 years ago from Lanarkshire

      Great hub. My bun has been acting strange recently... A friends bunny was over and started mating with her about 3 weeks ago,but we pulled them apart, so I suspect she may be pregnant. Her tummy is swollen on one side, and she's been tooth purring lots- maybe grinding. But she won't let us near her, and is extremely territorial. Appetite has increased, and she still hops around normally... Going to the vet is pretty difficult- he's at the other side of the city, and she gets very stressed during travel. So if she is pregnant, we don't want to cause unnecessary stress... Looking for a 2nd opinion... Which I appreciate is difficult! Any input would be appreciated. Thanks :-)

    • belleart profile image


      6 years ago from Ireland

      Really good hub, it is so important to notice if your bun is sick but I would add that not all sickeness's are accompanied with signs. A few weeks ago I came down stairs getting ready for work and noticed that cocoa wasn't jumping around my feet like she does every morning. She looked fine but her personality just wasn't the same so I woke my partner to tell him to watch her and went off to work. within and hour he had her at the vet being treated for pneumonia-she'd spilled her water on a teddy and slept on the soaked teddy all night. So I think a lot of the time (when there are no symptoms) you just have to recognise when the buns normal behaviour has changed.

    • Cygstarz profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Maryland

      Hi Jing! What did the veterinarian say when you took him in for a visit? I do believe you have a reason to be concerned. Not eating and shedding are signs of a problem. There are many reasons as to why your bunny may be sick. Since I can't see him for wouldn't be wise for me to guess what is wrong. If your bunny doesn't get better...I would take him back to the vet....sooner rather than later. Rabbits are known to have the occasional dental again, take him back to the doctor if he is not eating (normally) soon. Good luck!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I have tons of questions. My bunny is not eating, has been shedding nonstop for over half a year, and always gets slimy poop on his bottom frequently. I fear he has some kind of toothache because he shows a lot of interest in his favorite foods, but he hesitates, nudges, smells, and then slowly chews the food, as if painfully. We went to the vet and got him a timothy hay mixture that we feed to him using a syringe. Is there a way to cure a rabbit's toothache, and is there a reason why all these things are happening to him? Please help.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      If a rabbit is breathing through his mouth it is urgent to get him to a vet and I DO MEAN URGENT. Rabbit do not "pant".

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      my bunny is breathing really fast n just wondering why? it is quite warm today could this be the reason?

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      honey bunny is always peeing on me and it dark yellow is that nautral for a baby bunny

    • profile image

      11 year old kid 

      9 years ago

      i have lots of bunnies but they all breathe fast like all small animals do.+ rabbits are not part of the rodent family, they are leporidae family from lagomorpha order

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      this is great info on when i get a bunny

    • daisybunny profile image


      9 years ago from Canada

      Great Hub. My bun-bun is always breathing rapidly but my friend said they "Just do that."


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)